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i io                           THE GAY GENIUS

When Szema Kuang was in the capital before proceeding to his home
in Loyang, the Emperor said to him:

"It seems to me Su Shih has not a good personal character. Perhaps
you have made a mistake in your high opinion of him."

"Are you referring to the charges against Su?" replied Szema Kuang
"I know the man better. Your Majesty is aware that this Shieh Ching=
wen is a relative of Anshih and the charge was instigated by Wang
himself. Besides, though Su Shih may not be perfect, is he not better
than Leeding, the beast who concealed his mother's funeral?"

According to his official standing Su should now have been made a
full magistrate, which the Emperor had intended to do. Wang Anshih
and Shieh Chingwen objected and made him deputy magistrate in a
near-by district; however, the Emperor changed it and appointed him
deputy magistrate of the beautiful city of Hangchow. Against the
charge of the censor Su Tungpo did not even bother to write a defence.
He let the investigators do their work, while he proceeded with his
family to Hangchow.